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David Lampo Education. (2012) 'A Fundamental Freedom Why Republicans, Conservatives, and Libertarians Should Support Gay Rights.'

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  CSPAN    Book TV    David Lampo  Education.  (2012) 'A Fundamental Freedom Why  
   Republicans, Conservatives, and Libertarians Should Support...  

    September 9, 2012
    12:00 - 1:30am EDT  

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. . i completed the first draft of this in the spring of 2011, the
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early republican presidential primary process was getting underway and the timing i think was quite good. even then though it was apparent that field of republican presidential candidates were going to be the most outspoken anti-gay field of candidates ever and yet there was rarely a word of criticism publicly spoken from mainstream republicans and the party establishment including those in congress and about candidates like michele bachmann or rick perry and the long history of the gifted remarks. it seemed to me that many of them, that is the republican establishment, was simply a phrase to condemn such rhetoric to speak in favor of social tolerance. b's leaders were not just uninformed about gay issues i think but frankly scared to death of any discussion of them and i think that plays into the hands of organized bigotry. what most analysts expected was going to be another election
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about economic issues and replacing much of the legislation passed by the obama administration like the election in 2010, was suddenly hijacked or the so-called values voters crowds and social issues were suddenly at the top of the republican list of priorities often getting the lion's share of attention during those endless number of debates and 2011. such as when a gay servicemember when asked a question during one of the republican debates. so in spite of the fact that in the race there were pro-gay writes candidates like congressman ron paul, former governor of new mexico gary johnson and former governor of utah john huntsman, the general perception among most voters in the public was and unfortunately is that all the republican candidates works sauve ashley devoted to the religious and moral agenda of the christian
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right. and of course the media a lovely attention to social issues such as gay rights and similar issues because they loved all the delicious sound bites that candidates like michele bachmann and newt gingrich are that allow them to spend their own narrative that all republicans are anti-gay. michele bachmann blamed the existence for gay people are not one but two natural disasters both a hurricane in an earthquake. newt gingrich who who is has had two mistresses and three wives talk about the sanctity of traditional marriage and rick perry charged that president obama was conducting a war on religion simply because he allows gay to serve in in a the military but for bids children from praying or salivating christmas. they are designed to whip up hatred against and in order for
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these candidates in particular these candidates to grab a bigger chunk of the christian right voters who make up a large portion of the republican base. this kind of rhetoric of course has been going on for years before this presidential race started and it went into overdrive with the advent of the very controversial issue of same-sex marriage. it was almost two years ago that i decided it was time to write a fact-based primer on, specifically targeted to right of center voters hence the subtitle of the book. to do two things, number one to challenge the religious right on its own turf and to show that much of what is derisive or what they derisively called such gay agenda is consistent with fundamental republican and libertarian principles in number two to show center-right voters who believe in social tolerance that not only are they not a
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voice in the wilderness, they actually represent the majority of rank-and-file republican voters said the book is three major themes. the first one i just alluded to that many on the right simply don't understand that properly understood, gay rights are perfectly compatible with fundamental republican principles of limited government, individual rights and equal protection of the laws. the essence of the classical liberal or libertarian philosophy is simply one of live and let live, all people are created with certain inalienable rights. the government does not dole out rights depending on economic class you're in, what your gender is or theoretically at least what your sexual orientation is. at least that is the way it is supposed to be. certainly most libertarians already get that and i think that is why they have a special obligation to teach fellow conservatives and right of center voters why a gay and
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lesbian americans deserve the same rights as everybody else. the second main theme of my book is that because of this constant constant over-the-top rhetoric that we often hear from the religious right most people have little understanding of what rank-and-file republicans actually believe about gay issues. and i think the conventional wisdom is that all republicans hate gays and they are opposed to and nothing could be further from the truth. what i discovered in research and polling data on this topic is that there is in fact a huge disconnect between the conventional wisdom that i just mentioned and the reality that there will majority of rank-and-file republicans actually believe and support, believe it and supports gay rights. the reality is this. majority of rank-and-file republicans supports nearly all of the major planks in that quote gay agenda unquote that i
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mentioned and i think that is one of the most interesting and important parts of this book. that is the message that needs to go out to all republicans and conservatives. allow the voices of lourdes is right leaders have intimidated and silenced most of those republicans who believe in social tolerance and their silence must now and. the fact is that polling data going back at least a decade shows consistent and growing support for expanding gay rights including relationship recognition by republicans and conservatives. there is a lot of polling data in the book and i urge you to take a look at it that let me just pull out a few. polling by gallup for example going back at least 10 years has consistently shown that 80% of americans which necessarily includes a majority of republicans favor a policy of employment nondiscrimination for gays and lesbians. virtually every poll shows the
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same thing including one last year by the center for american progress that shows 66% of republicans supporting a policy. but republican support for -- gay rights does not in there. for the spiders the majority of republicans have supported the right of gays and lesbians to serve openly in our armed forces and the 2010 gallup poll showed even 51% of conservatives shared that view. today according to a very recent "national journal" poll, majority republicans are satisfied with the repeal of "don't ask don't tell" so that is normal for the republican party. relationship recognition for gay couples has certainly been the most contentious gay issue for alright of center voters and even on this issue there is now majority support according to most polls among republicans for
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either marriage equality or civil unions. a cbs news poll in 2010 for example showed 59% of republicans supported either same-sex marriage or civil unions. and a tube thousand 11 public poll showed 51% in support. regarding regard to -- republicans for marriage equality a public research institute poll a year ago showed 37% of republicans supporting a policy. in a "washington post" poll, a "washington post" abc news poll this past march showed 39% in favor of marriage equality. in that same journal, "national journal" poll i just mentioned, showed only 37% of republicans supported federal marriage act, completely different from what the conventional wisdom is so i think things are -- these are pretty astounding numbers. the bottom line is this.
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while the percentages may vary from poll to poll all show a clear majority of republicans rank-and-file republicans, in favor of some kind of legal recognition of couples in opposition to a federal marriage amendment and our armed forces and in favor of employment nondiscrimination. this reality and message of social tolerance on the part of the majority of republicans which is why i wrote this book and i think it must be pounded into the heads of the republican establishment which by and large continues to pander to the stride and anti-gay groups and leaders because they are the ones who make the most and that is the key to their success. it's time for socially tolerant republicans to come out of the closet and i think there doing so in ever greater numbers. finally the third major theme of the book is the support for and also the political politicals
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marketing today. the voters the most often decide elections after all her independents and the republican party has a progressive perceptiveness declined and presidential elections over the past 25 years. ronald reagan won them by a 2-1 majority and by 2008, independents went for president obama 552-44% margin. independents including most libertarians identified as an attendant came back in a big way in the 2010 election. they are focused almost exclusively on economic issues, and that focus is credited by most political analysts for the big republican victory that year. what republicans need to remember is this. they are overwhelmingly pro-gay rights. like other voters they don't want to hear anti-gay proposals from candidates because like
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most voters they no gay as family members or colleagues or friends. on major issues from repealing "don't ask don't tell" all the way up to providing equal benefits for same-sex costal's independence support nearly as strong as democrats. even on same-sex marriage a large majority of independents are in support. if republicans want to earn that support from independents they critically need to know when the election. i think they will simply have to change the policies on gay issues because and independents overwhelmingly reject the outspoken in anti-gay policies promoted by the right-wing and the anti-gay organizations that make up a lot of the republican base. it at me it may turn out to a couple of my favorite chapters in the book. chapter 1, rather chapter 2 is entitled why the religious right is wrong about the separation of church and state. in it i look at the belief of
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most social conservatives that this is a christian nation. home not just a nation of christians by the government and the constitution des explicitly on biblical principles or values. this is a refrain we hear constantly hear from most leaders and yet we know the founders exclusively avoided using language in the constitution. in fact the word god, bible, jesus christ none of them appear on the text. and that would be a an odd thing indeed of our founding fathers had actually that tended to run the government according to the debacle principles. in fact most constitutional scholars acknowledge the founders were intent on building what thomas jefferson called that wall of separation between church and state, even if that phrase doesn't appear in the text of the constitution. james madison, fourth president,
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one of the architects of the constitution, wrote that religious beliefs quote are not the object of civil government nor jurisdiction. a few that is diametrically opposed in the agenda of most religious right leaders today. in the book i quote a variety of other founding fathers and their objections to a bible-based state and indeed some of their contemporaries actually criticize the founders for their explicit omission of religious references of the constitution. the reverend timothy dwight for example who was then president of yale university, said the united states has quote offended providence because we formed our constitution without any acknowledgment of god unquote and yet in spite of this overwhelming historical evidence the founders did indeed strive for that separation that thomas jefferson spoke of. most religious right leaders today continue to mock the very concept of a secular state. as the rc at -- ozzie and
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harriet world, the more religious right extremists have become more and more shrill about the cultural changes that have taken place over the past few decades and that will surely continue and their increasing contempt for social tolerance and personal liberty which are really hallmarks of a limited government they profess to believe in indicates i think that they're no longer reliable partners are allies for those republicans and conservatives who actually do believe in limited government and individual rights. i think the so-called three-legged stool symbolizing the republican, the traditional republican coalition made up of economic conservatives, national conservatives and social conservatives, is broken and i think it will remain, will and should remain broken until social conservatives give up their efforts to remake america
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into their own heaven on earth. another issue i write about in this chapter is actually a huge under the radar controversy going on with any evangelical community in a section called, the class houses -- it centers around explosion of the wars in the evangelical committee and the obvious hypocrisy of its members when they pontificate about the sanctity of traditional marriage. issue was raised not by one of their critics but by albert roll jr. president of the southern baptist theological seminary. he wrote famously on this web site in 2010, heterosexual divorce quote harms many more lives that will be touched by marriage. the real scandal is the fact that evangelical provinces, divorce at rates at least as high as the rest of the public. needless to say this creates a significant credibility crisis when evangelicals rise to speak
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in defense of marriage unquote. it couldn't be truer. moehler labeled as hypocrisy quote an indictment of evangelical failure and a monumental scandal of the evangelical community. unquote. professor mark smith at the university of washington published a pathbreaking article by senior and political science quarterly in which he detailed this widespread problem that moehler had written about showing the that 43% of protestant evangelicals divorce, higher than almost any other religious group in and higher than the national average of 39%. and dad as the professor points out, rarely to evangelicals propose legislative solutions to this problem. rather divorce to be in their view of trust within the church rather than in public policy. a starkly different approach
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than they propose to address other biblical transgressions such as sexuality which many religious right leaders actually believe should be re-criminalize even after the supreme court ruling nullifying all remaining state laws in 2003. is evangelical hypocrisy was acknowledged even by the religious magazine christianity today after moehler made his remarkable remarks. its editor said quote we cannot very well argue for the sanctity of marriage as a crucial social institution wildly go about divorcing and approving a pre-marriage at a rate that destabilizes marriage. we have been perfect hypocrites on this issue. and yet in spite of this internal and broad self-examination going on with the evangelical movement most of its leading spokesman in the religious right groups that claim to represent them rarely talk about any topic other than
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homosexuality and gay marriage which seem to have -- even abortion is the main item on their political agenda and you can see that if you go to their web web sites. in fact it's clear that an increasing number of self-identified evangelical christians are actually changing their ideas about in marriage so the dialogue was some evangelicals as possible. the 2010 american values survey by the research institute showed that 41% of christian conservatives support recognition of same-sex couples, mostly civil unions with 16% for marriage and in august 2010 poll by the same organization found that fully 44% of evangelicals between the ages of 18 and 29, the so-called millennials, supports same-sex marriage. these are big numbers and i think it's fair to say that the
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religious right groups don't represent many even in their own flock, even in the christian right movement. in this chapter finally i also have a section, be careful what you which four in which i remind religious leaders they are not the only ones who believe basing the government on biblical principles. there's in there is in fact a long history of liberal and leftist religious activism in the united states based on a very different interpretation of what the bible commands. the national council of churches for example has existed for over 60 years and has advocated the modern welfare state as an example, a perfect example, christian compassion and service to others in the catholic left also has a rich history of this kind of activism. even them modern environmental
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movement is fond of asking reportedly what would jesus do for example tying christian -- to a green economy so there is in fact no shortage of political movements across the spectrum trying to run other people's lives and the one thing they all have in common is justifying their respective agendas on the basis of quote biblical principles unquote. this is precisely what i need we need to keep organized religion is far in the halls of congress as possible. another favorite chapter and i will briefly review it is chapter 5, the tea party nation anti-gay? most of the media and those on the left with automatically answer yes or hell yes. yet the reality is that the tea party is a much more complex and diverse movement than many realize even those on the right. it is emphatically not a mirror image of the christian right
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although there is of course overlap between the two. from its very beginning after all the tea party has been mostly about economic issues. it was anger over this issues that sparked a movement to begin with and it was that relentless focus on economic issues and a deliberate and conscious avoidance of the social issues that was the cause of its great success in 2010. is kate zerneck he wrote in the "new york times" in 2010 quote god like the family yet little is that he mentioned in the tea party manifestoes. the motto of the tea party patriots a large coalition of tea party groups is fiscal responsibility, limited government and free markets. unquote. that focuses also strategic she she had it. leaders think they can attract independent voters that they stay away from divisive social issues, and they were right. that has clearly been the key to their success so far and what
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are the general view views of gay issues? strikingly different than those of religious right organizations. again in a few nuggets of the data. cbs "new york times" poll in 2010 for example showed while 16% of tea party members favor marriage equality, 41% of them supported civil unions and one would certainly not expect to find 67% in favor of legal recognition of gay couples at a family research family counsel i would say. the largest of its kind by the way and surveying tea party members reported similar findings about tea party members. 53% supported relationship for for -- gay couples. this large pocket should come as
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no surprise given with the research, the pew research center founded its own polling of the tea party movement. only 42% of self-identified tea party members agree with the conservative christian movement while 46% have no opinion of it or have not heard of it and 11% oppose it. striking confirmation i think that the religious right in the tea party are anonymous movement. part of the recent thing for this broader acceptance of social tolerance is the large number of libertarians. akshay outlined three outline three studies in the book and shows that approximately half the tea party activists are libertarians versus the more traditional conservatives that most people think make up the movement and in fact cato has an upcoming policy study by david kirby and emily eakin's entitled, libertarian roots are
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the party that confirms this widespread libertarian participation in the greater self tolerance that goes with it. and while the top religious right organizations like the family research council and counsel and the american family association campaigns doma, the defense of marriage act many tea party supporters actually support efforts to revive and get to states the freedom to decide marriage matters such as the marriage law. many supported the federal district court ruling in massachusetts in 2010 for example by judge joseph porro that overturn section 3 of the defense of marriage act that forbid the federal government from recognizing valid same-sex marriages in the states that have adopted it. that decision on the 10th amendment grounds was just recently upheld by a federal appeals court and is headed to the supreme court.
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i have a section on chapter 8 and i urge you all to read that. i'm running short on time so i would urge you to read that. that's a report card of all the republican candidates who ran for president detailing some of their background statements and for many of them it's far worse. many of them did not get a passing grade. finally the good news about the republican party i think is that it is changing. certainly not as fast as i or others would like but it is. i detail a number of things in the book and chapter 7 i think that show how it is evolving. and i think there are other examples. republican senators for example who voted to overturn and repeal "don't ask don't tell" in december of 2010 rokita that
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victory. before republican state senators from new york to put marriage equality over the top in that state, to the overwhelmingly republican legislature in new hampshire which is recently voted to keep same-sex marriage earlier this year. it had been legal in the religious right activists try to get a repeal and were confident they would get a repeal and most republicans in the statehouse rejected that, and so new hampshire continues to have same-sex marriage of republican officeholders i think are finally catching up with rank-and-file republicans in the majority of americans and all i can say is it about time. let me just close my reading -- by reading a quote from barry goldwater who john alluded to as one of my political heroes. quote mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the republican party and they
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are surely trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible problem. frankly these people frighten me. politics governing demand compromise but these christians believe they are acting in the name of god so they can't and won't compromise. the religious factions growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. i frankly am sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me that if i want to be a moral person i must believe in abc or deep. just who do they think they are? i will fight them every step of the way they try to date there oral convictions to all americans in the name of conservatism. thank you. [applause] >> you thanks for mentioning the upcoming cato study by eakin's and kirby so it if everyone keep
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keep their eye out for that, it's a real eye-opener and i think it will be the most definitive study of that political movement. our next commentator today really does need no introduction but i'm going to give him one anyway. you will know michael barone from his post as senior political analyst at the washington it dam and are or for having been over a decade a contributor to the news channel are also from his earlier career at u.s. news, reader's digest, "washington post" at the highest levels of american politics in commentary but i would like to mention previous books because i think the books he has written are important and continued to be and should be read today. his most recent i believe is entitled our first revolution, a remarkable people who inspired america's founding fathers, a book about the revolution which everyone should know more about.
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>> history, our country the shaping of america from roosevelt to reagan. we live in historical times. this book is an excellent section to the politics of that period and of course michael is the principle co-author of the annual almanac of american politics from the "national journal" group, the leading i think it's fair to say commentary and when you read that look you wonder, how does michael know all of that about every dam district in the country? it's an amazing book that i recommend to you. michael barone. [applause] >> you thank you very much and thank you for the kind introduction. you notice that both you and david have written books at mature ages. your first book, my almanac of american politics which i am co-author was written as long ago as your first edition of 40
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years ago. i like to point out that it's highly unusual for the first edition of the book of this nature to have been written by someone at the age of four. [laughter] but there we are. in addition i come to you as a recovering liberal with my transformation having come at a later stage in life like david. and i guess i am being asked here in part because one of my washington examiner columns on the same-sex marriage issue i've made the point that i was in favor of same-sex marriage for many of the same reasons and from the book published a decade ago, gay marriage so i got a little bit of feedback from my examiner readers on that too seemed to be surprised that i would disclose that. i am also recovering pollster. i was in the public opinion
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polling business from 1974 to 81 and i found myself in issues of, i found myself consistently wrong about where public opinion was going. during the 1992 campaign with when bill clinton came out for openly gay people serving in the military i thought that would have done terrific damage to him on on the campaign and it turned out i was totally wrong about that. basically it was a minor issue and therefore thought when he came into office and proposed implementing gays in the military that he would have no political problem and in fact it caused something of a firestorm i think in part because people said that's one of your first orders of business so as consistently wrong about that. i thought well you know i've been wrong in both directions on this issue. is one where i really don't seem to understand the american people and where they are going.
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and i have not written about a substantially sense but in the 20 years since i was wrong in both directions, i think we have had a huge change in public opinion of this issue and in fact publicly the biggest change or at lease one of the biggest changes that i've witnessed in my lifetime, and i think growing up in the america of the 1950's and early 60's, i think this was properly known as the era of cultural uniformity. we had those unifying experiences of the great depression and particularly of world war ii where we had 16 million men in the military serve in a country of 131 million. week -- there was a time when everybody was supposed to be average and normal and so forth in any
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breach of that was considered to be a big problem. it was a time when public sexuality was really taboo, was ridiculed. i am not familiar in detail with the scholarship of some people who have written about attitudes towards gays over the history but my impression from such reading as i have done in from my other surveys of american history is that war and post-war period was probably the time when americans were more hostile to homosexuality and what they called deviance than at other points in our history, that we were really went through an unusual period of lack of cultural diversity if you will or at least the sanctions against it. you have had people like robert
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kennedy ridiculing gore vidal for being at a party. this was standard in polite company, gay jokes or disparaging remarks were just fine in like company at every stage and nobody objected to them in any serious way. and i think david lampo has done us a service by illustrating this big change in public opinion that we are hugely larger percentages of americans are except being of gay writes and i will use gay and not go into a lesbian in a way that simply was unthinkable in the america in which i grew up. i never expected to see anything like this happen. we do have a considerable age breaks on this.
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this is perhaps the issue that i have observed over the 40 or 50 years of observing polling data in which there's a bigger difference between age groups and to summarize, if if you ask opinion on same-sex marriage, the over 65 group, their basic attitude if we summarize it is it. if you add the end of 30 group their basic attitude is well, yeah and simply seen as uncontroversial. what this means as david has provided some of the data here is this cuts across the lines, the partisan lines so that both parties are diverse if you will in their constituencies are different on this. we saw illustrations of this recently when president obama kind of wrongfooted himself by
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announcing that he came out in favor of same-sex marriage the day after voters in north carolina carried the vote 69-31 against it and thought gee it would have been nice if the president came out for this before north carolina voted in this referendum rather than after but the president was balancing to constituencies both of who turned out heavily in 2008 but whose turnout is uncertain and volatile and that is young voters who as i said are heavily in tayfour of same-sex marriage by margins of 2-1 are better and black voters who have been against same-sex marriage. in the exit poll in california referendum in 2008, we saw that white voters and asian voters came out and voted for same-sex
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marriage and against proposition 8 by a 51-49 margin and hispanics -- hispanics voted against same-sex marriage by a 51-41% margin. black voters voted 70-30 against same-sex marriage. those numbers are probably different among black voters in president obama's endorsement of the issue probably change some minds but he did take time to do conference calls and there aren't a lot of black churches where preachers are very much against same-sex marriage. i think there is a resentment on the part of some black voters and leaders when supporters are advocates for same-sex marriage and alice i -- analogize for civil rights movement. haven't been slaves but there is
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a difference in experience and that is a pretty strong argument in any case it's an effective one with some black voters. the present was in the presence of an old-time politician who said some of my friends are for the pill and some of my friends are against the pill and i'm always with my friends. the north carolina referendum got him enough slack but he signed it including many of his money givers who are strong backers of same-sex marriage that he should change his position. "the washington post" i think made note that about a quarter of his -- are gay. sub-- max for some gay people this is not a front issue and for some it is so i don't think we should assume that people's sexual orientation automatically determines their position on this issue or the strength of their convictions or the priority they give the that is
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for people to determine for themselves. on the republican side polling has shown and perhaps you will contradict me if i'm wrong but about two-thirds are republican voters are against same-sex marriage but a quarter are more, something like the quarter and perhaps higher. so republicans have a split constituency on this as well. obviously the poor reality are for same-sex marriage but you also have moralities or morality so majorities that are for some form of civil union that are in favor of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation of employment and so forth. those are positions that are back now. i think you know and particularly for young people in this room, this is hugely
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different from the america not only of the 1950's and 60's but the 1970s and the 1980s. i mean this is a big change. you find you know, these issues were simply not issues before. i mean david pointed out to me in the california referendum proposition 13 on holding down property taxes in 1978. there's another referendum on the ballot that year, the greg's amendment the republican from orange county. in fact an amendment that banned gay people from being teachers and require the firing of teachers that were identified as and that seemed to be getting towards majority supporting california.
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interestingly a former governor was persuaded to come out against this and to cut a spot for it. ronald reagan which may have made the difference in the breaks amendment at the polls but that was kind of the daring position. it was the opponents of the breaks amendment. of course reagan had known many gay people in the entertainment business whose friends and it was -- and he took that stand publicly even though he was preparing to be a republican, candidate for the republican nomination wants again the fact that he came out with that position was considered a prize and was noteworthy and was
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vote changing because in the environment that we ran, that was worthy of comment and something most people would not have expected. these issues simply weren't issues. he could go back in time and talk to voters in politicians and say where are you on same-sex marriage? the response would have been, what? what are you talking about? nobody was out there advocating in any way. i would take issue here with david's statement that the republican field of candidates was the most anti-field in history. i would argue that the field of republican and democratic candidates by the standards of today's issues in all these years was more anti-gay than the republican standard is one of them or for same-sex marriage and none of them were for civil unions. most of them brought up the
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issue saying you should criminalize behavior they would say well, sure and that was true of democrats and it was true of republicans. like the abortion issue but for even longer, behavior was an issue of criminal law more than it was anything else in the key question was how much you wanted to criminalize it and to what degree in what the penalty should be. so i think it's an issue today that is very different from what it was in the past. my own view is that we are going to move towards more as a nation towards more acceptance of same-sex marriage when you have got young people taking a libertarian stand on a cultural issue in old being -- old people taking a strong stand against the. the question becomes will the
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young people still have the same attitude when they grow up and get older? california had an issue about marijuana smoking in 1972. that was defeated 66-34 but young voters were in favor of it. those voters kind of changed their minds as the years went on. he did not have any increase in support for legalization of marijuana for california for several decades really until the marijuana advocates came up with the idea of medical marijuana and we are now i think de facto legalizing marijuana in some cases but those people change their minds as they grew up and they have children and decided it was a great idea. on this issue i think it's one where people are going to continue to take the stand that the same-sex marriage support will persist in this millennial generation and it will be a larger part of the election of electoral politics in the gears in the current over 65
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generational be a smaller part of electoral. i think the support will continue. you may want to take into account my bad record at predicting trends in public opinion on issues when you are assessing this. i would not put myself forward as an expert. let me just conclude here with a couple of statements about this issue generally. i think david pointed rightly to the fact that you now, the prevalence of divorce among many opponents of same-sex marriage or the constituencies, they tend to speak, they believe they speak. i think there is some truth to that. in my article last august in the washington examiner in my column i made the point that i think
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that you know i am concerned about threats to the family. i share the views of people in the family research counsel and so forth about things and i think that lack of two parents is a great handicap to children. that is a statistically valid factor but i'm also aware that the number of gays in america is relatively small part of the best evidence we have i think in a presidential election poll four years ago, because you fill it out yourself. you don't have to press a button on your phone and you deposit the paper in a box and it's a very anonymous questionnaire. if you are fearful of stigma or whatever else you have no motive to hide your actual status or belief. 3% as the number in the last three elections. interestingly it's about the only demographic group in which john mccain got a higher percentage of the vote than george w. bush in 2004.
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it went up from something like 23% to 25% but that was an international trend. it's also evidence that gay voters are not monolithically upon party voters as black americans tend to be. of my argument that i made was low, you know i'm concerned about the damage to the family but it seems to me there's less damage from the two people who want to get married and there is from much larger number of people who get divorced or who have children without getting married in the first place. i think that's a pretty strong argument, similar if not identical to that in this book. let me just conclude with my judgment like distinguishing my attitude if i may toward religious right eaters and outspoken opponents of same-sex marriage from david's attitude. i do not see them, to use the
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term hateful to characterize some at least at this point. i am concerned with the welfare and find people who -- iranian capital punishment for people. i think though that the large majority of people on both sides of the same-sex marriage issue are taking the position that they think it will be good for people generally. i think people who share my view this same-sex marriage should be legal and we should change the status of marriage from what it has been for many years i think it would be good more generally and i think there's a strong argument on that behalf but i believe people against the belief that there is good for people generally. the burden of proof is those who want to change along an enduring institution.
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i think the case that david is making has at least persuaded me, but i do want to say that i respect the good faith of very many of the large majority of americans who take an opposite view. thank you. [applause] spain now it's time for questions i'm going to exercise the power of the chair if not the right of the chair to ask david the first question which is carried on from his presentation. i really wanted the chapter about the candidate that the republican party, they don't have the candidate now, they have a candidate so governor romney. what is your story on him? and also to sort of get us moving toward the future here, do you have any fears about the potential vice presidential
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candidate of santorum and gingrich or generally thought not to be real candidates for the vice presidency? there are are other people that you have looked into or have heard their views? >> i was afraid you are going were going to ask me about governor romney. [laughter] in that chapter, the scorecard, i go back and review their public statements, boats etc. and governor romney's case of course goes back to all those famous 1993 or so pro-gay statements and pledges when he was running against ted kennedy. of course all his religious right opponents also went back to the statements and more convinced that he was still a closet pro-gay candidate. in my view he is a tough nut to
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crack. when he started running for president, even before he left the office of governor, he opposed same-sex marriage when it blossomed that massachusetts with a supreme court decision. he supported banning it. i mean he ultimately accepted it i think because he had no choice really although others were advocating to go to the ramparts. after he left office, he made a few comments about supporting employment nondiscrimination although not at the federal level but at the state level. he also tailored his remarks to the audience in which, to which he is speaking so you saw him last year when he would be in front of the family leader or add a value of voters they'll
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voters value summit right here in d.c.. he would say all the right things and yet when he would go to new hampshire for example he openly talked about supporting domestic hardships or a certain kind of package of rights for gay couples and i'm sure he did his best to keep that as below the radar is possible because he was constantly being attacked by rick santorum and others for any hints of pro-tolerance. he got a d on my report card. actually he may have gotten a d plus because of the partnership statement he made in new hampshire. >> what was the timeline on the republican legislatures rejection of attempts to repeal same-sex marriage? >> that was earlier this year, possibly in march or so. >> so was after the new hampshire primaries in my
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recollection? >> right. >> it was a democratic legislature. it was one of few states -- >> number of them are asked about it and i believe he gave his usual talking point about traditional marriage and i believe supporting the federal marriage amendment, which he does. so i don't think his views are going to get much better on this. arbonne glee though, i argued in an op-ed that i'm working on, that obama is coming out explicitly for same-sex marriage. actually it's a plus for him and gives him some opportunities that i doubt he will take advantage of but i think they are there. there was this question out the intensity of support by religious right voters and most of them have finally warmed up to him simply because he is the candidate, or will be.
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but when obama came out and said he explicitly supported same-sex marriage, that really sent them over the edge. they were already angry about the doma decision on his part, so i think most of those voters now are anybody but obama voters and i think that affords romney the ability to come out and try to reach out to those moderate and independent and women voters who would like to see them say for example, a pledge to support employment nondiscrimination for federal employees, something that bush, clinton and obama all did. to support the tax equity act that would allow gay couples the same tax privileges on health insurance benefits. he has evolved on every other issue and i would love to see them evolve with the federal marriage amendment and finally figure out that being for
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federalism and the 10th amendment are actually good republican positions. that said i don't think it's going to -- so i'm just going to take a lengthy attitude on his part. >> the vice president? >> well, i love christy. i would vote for him in a heartbeat. it's not an endorsement by the cato institute either way. >> the governors actually going to be the keynote speaker was announced day, at the republican convention, so that's a good thing. i don't really have any preferences, and unfortunately even if they have more socially tolerant views on these issues they will disavow them once they become candidates. >> let's see what audience questions we have. please wait until you are called upon. wait for the microphone is the
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crucial thing because remember everyone in the room has to hear you and we are going out over the internet or over television and please announce your name and if you like your deletion and i would also say, please make sure that your question is the end the form of a question. and if you want to directed to one or the other of our panelists. let's start with the gentleman down there in the middle. we will try to get to everyone. >> hi. my name is hank and i have no affiliation. i have a question of whether the position of trying to promote gay writes so to speak is being done on this left right continuum to much which to me means i either like gays or a dislike gays and to meet the better argument is a pure
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libertarian argument which is essentially to live and let live which means that i don't have to like gays. if i don't want to associate with gays that is not my personal belief but i am saying if that is somebody's personal belief they can still take the libertarian attitude, i'm going to let them live they want -- the way they want to live because i want to live the way i want to live so therefore whether i want to associate with them or whether i wanted to teach my children, i still would afford them the same rights, which is essentially the pure libertarian. my question really is, aren't you guys too much looking at this from sort of a left right continuum as opposed to what i would say is a libertarian continuum which --
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>> okay, thank you. david? >> well, i mean i think you distilled the libertarian position very well. but i don't think that contradicts the battle lines really that we have. i certainly don't and i don't think most gay writes leaders say means you have to have a gay is the best friend. they are talking about political rights, traditional rights from "don't ask don't tell," public employment nondiscrimination, being allowed to work for the federal government instead of being kicked out like they were in the 50s and 60's, so it's just a term of convenience for equal rights, equal legal rights for gay americans.
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to meet it does not apply, you have to personally like gay people. >> i would just add to that however that i think a large part of a vast the vast change in public opinion has become, has happened because people have come out as gay and we have non-gay people know a lot more gay people as gay than they did 20 years ago and they don't have -- and they don't necessarily look like the most outrageous person you would find at a pride parade. they are your friend, your relative, your neighbor who is okay and i think that gravely fortifies politically in the case against discrimination even though the government in various ways, shapes and forms from an abstract point of view the argument should he just a strong
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whether you know gay people are not. cullen. ..
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>> use the cases like a crescendo to refer in mexico who was forced. >> photograph wedding. the 13th amendment takes care of that. >> also a church that was denied tax-exempt status because it would not read doubt the gazebo to the same sex couple also of hospital bet does not recognize certain health benefits. >> i totally understand those positions and i agree but it is a bait-and-switch. why would you talk about the photographer with same-sex marriage rates?
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you are comparing apples and oranges. they're perfectly fine with them with race, creed, religion, only with sexual orientation they have of freedom of concern. while i agree they could be consistent to say i a don't believe accommodation losses are correct. >> let me disagree slightly. the public accommodation, have exceptions for cases close to you. if you have an apartment unit you are not necessarily covered by them.
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you don't have to rent out the basement apartment so in these cases should the clergymen to be able to officiate although the supreme court was unanimous on that january case the next day's new mexico thing is the obvious outrage. especially break requiring somebody to photograph a wedding when he does not want to. >> gerber there is same-sex marriage have been to over backwards if a church does not want to allowed gave people to be members that is
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fine but to don't say i will prevent legal equality because sometime in the future somebody may pass a law that this lady past two photograph k wedding. >> 13th amendment ended slavery. >> i found day discussion that marriage is between minnesota and implement but it this has become a motion all with arguing with gay people it becomes too personal. do you think it is better to argue once the government
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takes the stand that it no longer holds the connotation and marriages no longer understood as the religious institution? so people may be more receptive as the right to that all people deserve? >> you have to make the distinction of the legal and civil part. being religious and having a wedding in the church is not sufficient or necessary to have a legal marriage. that gets a marriage license which you can complete or
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consummate by going to the justice of the p -- justice of the peace i think that is a fundamental mistake they think of their own marriage as the holy you yen and their religious bell use. i get it but then they cross the line from the religious aspect to the civil to say my religion says you're not a god-fearing person you don't get access to the same legal contracts and write some that i do. it has been pointed out enough but those private
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religious values usually trump their belief in limited government. >> talk about marriage, sexuality, thinks that are personally important they bet their lives to do things a certain way those who have similar believes in ways they consider wrong. that is why we tried to conduct the debate that is respectful of others and the fact they are positive way motivated. we have less of an intersection but 20 years
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ago of was in france maintain a house when family came over and we miss it did in kansas. there was a wedding ceremony the priest was officiating at the love the cathedral. afterwards they stand down and here comes the authority of the state, a clerk comes right there. and has them sign the registry. my parents were staunch atheist and were appalled that a government person coming into a church physically being there to perform official duties in a
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church setting. that was a a violation of free exercise of religion without state supervision. thank you very much. different countries, different attitudes. >> if nixon could go to beijing why can't romney go to dupont circle? [laughter] >> maybe he can. >> i take it it is rhetorical question? >> to not take a stand on same-sex marriage, you mentioned that amendment that will never pass the legislature and is a dead duck candidate but the voluntary position on the constitutional amendment that is questioned.
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the president has in the role of the constitutional amendment of the members of the legislature that i am members of congress but it is not a presidential role ask your member of congress are legislator. >> you could stay at of the issue. it is disingenuous. >> have a balanced budget amendment. >> to talk about the six and economic losses rican not expect restraint. >> mr. david lampo have do
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think the republican party feels are libertarians p.o. about a woman's right to choose? i realize this there is a question of another life that is not with a gay marriage issue. but roe v wade there is not a separate life. what is your view on that and how does it compare with a marriage? >> i hesitate to give my view. but even libertarians are split. in that way it is a unique
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political issue. because that element of life complicates the whole issue. i am pro-choice. opponents will say he is not a real conservative. but that is my view. it is consistent with the traditional libertarian view of personal rights of control over your body but i respect the position of those who are pro-life. i do agree the government should not fund it live friends do not like that but i think they are consistent.
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>> that millennial generation is that by large majorities favoring same-sex marriage, and they are more in favor of restricting abortion they and their elders. like the sonograms and technology it is harder to argue of the this is not to a human life and everyone born in america could have had his serve her life ended by eight an abortion. is seen as if they reflect on that they may not think so well of it. it is just speculation.
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>> i am an intern at the cato institute. there are two general arguments regarding gay-rights/marriage. the federal definition should be amended to include more people and rather than we negotiating the criteria we should abolish the federal monopoly to live and let live to let people do what they want. so why do we focus on the former for a work instead of the latter? >> if that were repealed that the government they would not be involved in that issue. the opponents want to get
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the feds involved even more. i think it has little chance but it did say really important position of people like the american family association and family research council and the usual suspects. not disrespectfully. and y think it is gratuitous for candidates especially was made to say he will support and work for it to 51 to disengage then repeal and that is a good start. >> then you have a situation with the interesting characteristic those recognized under state law
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would qualify for things like marital deductions in it would be an incentive for people to change their losses. that is how we got the deduction in the first place in the post-world war two period they could combine one income of the husband to get a lower marginal tax rate from people of other states that congress stapp did to create the same legal situation. >> some to believe in the federal marriage amendment
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saying it is a fundamental right to but should be extended to all couples of all states. >> remake it is a prima court decision. >> that could be even more impossible they and the anti-marriage amendment that has lost several rounds to get that started. >> despite the polling numbers of support for gay marriage most of the success comes from the courts not from the legislatures, this is the most effective way to go forward or a greater
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focus on changing behavior? >> apart from any moral question certainly the latter four longevity would be preferable. when the accords overturned jim crow of big it was good to make the argument there was said good analogy and the court has the proper role we all the court can go overboard and judges can make decisions based on personal preferences without the general perception of liberty that extends to people with the legislature
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doesn't it is just as valid as if the people vote on it. >> in conclusion i am dubious about the court case. we will see if the ninth circuit to but says there is the right to same sex marriage is affirmed or reversed i stay with jonathan that it is preferable that it will not have been every where were 78% a even joke all protestants they're not passivity time soon but we have seen the legislature's pass the same sex marriage so it survive to the political process we have
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seen it come close in new jersey where governor christie once the referendum. as millennials become a larger part in california the vote was 52 i thain it would be a big came up so far is only the opponents but i think it may be time for proponents to bring your referendum because i think their chances will be a step-by-step process. and also a resident and fellow from the american enterprise institute.
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thank you very much. >> our book today is fundamental freedom by david lampo also available outside and i am sure he will be happy to sign a copier talk to about the book you have the opportunity to do so because we will go upstairs and have lunch. it is upstairs in the conference center people will help you find it. also the restrooms are on the second floor and ballet to see everybody upstairs. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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>> h >> richard burt kaiser talkevts about the founding fathers: we'e watery talking about?se >> the american revolution and other right-wing of thes thn constitution. quite those are the two key defense obviously in the older ones had careers that stitutionuite a few year but that is what we talk about. >> benjamin franklin, the oldest born 17 '06.hernd t
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he knows cotton mather. of he signs both the declaration of independence was and the constitution. james madison born 1751 then he dies 183685 years old.ve he has seen the fight to of missouri being admitted to d the but he is the last one that is the dark side. >> use said what would the founders do?s now b you rights they invite ourdisc questions now because they invite a discussion when they lived.
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88 the is out to dry with public speeches. in >> right. aepub they set up the republic and they're very proud to do that. w this is virtually unique holland was a republic although it was going down the tubes it was a uniquee, form of government andto be compared to the government there was based on popular rule. but still there was a franchise. electorate half's to begh appealed to. they do this constantly.ssional ieir right to for the tha
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newspapers have will 10 he founded "the new york post." benjamin franklin of was course, , sam adams was aisher,m publisher. to thi it is hard to think of founders who did not great journalism. george washington did not to. that is very rare.who d evenid james madison who washerr not a great comedies scroogeic,h himself of and wrote 29 federal list papers that or op-ed pieces. these men know they have to put themselves out there for >> gst: ican public that is for the constituency. the know what all. >> they were well educated.
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the it is a little country, we col have a handful of colleges. be they are tiedco the.usands they have a few dozen tod. students but most of these h men were college graduates. those who weren't made sure to they would read all of theirwoul lives. they felt that had to be from the day. if you listen in to the debates you would've thought montagu was may was thehe celebrated.ir they do their english
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history and a agent history ofhe the classical world ofthey rome, greece, they did not always admire what they read.tyranny history of the city-state's candisgusting going through tierney and chaos hoping that is why it america can wel avoid.ndin behalf to know the negative examples as well. >> but you say the founding fathers were less well traveled or less sophisticated and high school seniors today toward veterans from iraq or croin afghanistan?he >> the crossing of the0 dav atlantic ocean takes 20 days80
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or it could be 80 days with icebergs or storms.john john adams traveled by seavery and of boat was struck by lightning. te all the passengers had to ship take turns until they got to he. land to pump. t it is hard to get around the united states. new yorplk city, albany new york if you took a horrors it would take three days. if you took a boat it would take three days.m owh, f been to now on a train it ises a few hours.